The predominant focus of research in the Hayes Lab is aimed at understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes that are responsible for generating and maintaining biodiversity, and applying that knowledge to conserving biodiversity in the face of major threats (e.g. habitat destruction, invasive species and climate change). Invertebrates comprise the majority of animal diversity , which makes them incredibly useful systems for addressing questions at the interface of ecology, evolution and conservation. As such, these are the primary groups on which our work is based. To do this effectively with such a diverse group of organisms across a wide spectrum of ecosystems requires an approach that draws upon ecological, molecular, parasitological, genetic and evolutionary methodologies. This integrative approach is the hallmark of research our lab and that of our collaborators.